Cloud Seeding: Circus of the Performative Object

Cloud Seeding Circus was a touring performance project produced collaboratively by ten visual artists. A mobile installation, exhibition space and vehicle for performance, the compact caravan lumbered into unsuspecting towns and anticipating art venues, unpacking its wares in the spirit of the best bell-laden gypsies. Drawing inspiration from the lush traditions of buskers, freakshows, and rodeos, CSC operated within the equally compelling traditions of sculpture, video, installation, and performance art.

Cloud Seeding attempted to be Art all the way down. Admission tickets and posters were editioned prints; the elephant was collapsible; the balloon man was an image to behold. Viewers experienced all the magic and mystery of the traditional circus, recontextualized to anticipate the skepticism of the 21st century. Vignettes referencing historic circus acts conjured them up as metaphors for contemporary issues. The overall performance was self-reflective, exploring the region between backstage and center.

Cloud Seeding Circus toured from 1999-2002. Collaborating artists includeMindy Abovitz, Jesse James Arnold, Kelie Bowman, Alan Calpe, Brody Condon, Leslie Harding, Will Heath, Dave Herman, Stephanie Hutin, George Ferrandi, David McQueen, and John Orth.

Cloud Seeding Circus is featured in Freaks and Fire: The Underground Reinvention of Circus Arts by J. Dee Hill, published by Soft Skull Press.

Videos

Cloud Seeding Circus photo archive:

John Orth Will Heath Kelie Bowman and Jesse James Arnold David McQueen